He's going to bite

This is how it is done.  Mom teaching her child and me supervising.

I was out at a really cute restaurant with some longtime friends.  We arrived and were just being seated.  My now retired pet sitter was talking to the server about dogs when the server told us about her dog.  She had a pit bull who was the "best dog ever."  I laughed at the phrase, because we all have the best dog, don't we? 

She further explained how the dog was wonderful and would never bite; except for maybe her child, who tormented the dog relentlessly.  "He's horrible with her," she said.  "He pulls her tail, rides her and throws things at her" she said, laughing.  If she bites anyone, it is going to be my son.  I shuddered and held my tongue.  Isn't it amazing what we expect our dogs to tolerate?  But we also expect them to just sit there and take it without so much as a growl, lip curl or bite. 

When the rare bite happens, who pays?  The dog, that's who pays and the owners are shocked.  It is mind boggling.  Humans allow their children to annoy their dog without intervening and are then aghast when the dog has to defend themselves.  What happened?   What happened is that the human failed both their dog and their child.  They did not protect their child by teaching them how to properly interact with the dog.  They did not supervise their dog and child interactions.  They did not protect their dog from their child; making it necessary for their dog to protect itself.

This is far too common and almost always avoidable.  Dogs typically give a great deal warning via body language before biting.  But humans miss it.  It is right there in front of them but they fail to see it. Many don't understand what is in front of them; they don't understand body language so they can't see it.  If you do not understand the communications of another species, DO NOT ALLOW YOUR CHILD TO INTERACT FREELY WITHOUT SUPERVISION OR INTERVENTION.  

Sadly, children will be bitten because of a lack of supervision and knowledge of body language.  I don't care how wonderful a dog is; even the best of dogs has a limit.  Teach your children how to properly interact with dogs; your dog, the neigbor dog, all dogs.  Children who do not learn how to properly interact with dogs are at a serious disadvantage in this big world.  

I absolutely LOVE when a child approaches Elsa and I and says "can I pet your dog?"  Way to go Mom and Dad.  Elsa really likes children but I will always bend down beside her and be the third wheel in the interaction.  It is always better to be safe than sorry.  

Teach your children, teach your dog and supervise ALWAYS.